With swanky, high-rise buildings replacing old landmarks, Tondiarpet wears a new look. But behind all this glitz lies a neighbourhood whose basic issues are still unresolved, writes Serena Josephine. M

With a raft of high-rise apartment complexes coming up in recent times, the Tondiarpet skyline has undergone a transformation.

As part of the locality’s changing profile, an impressive number of multi-specialty hospitals have also sprung up. Some of these new entities serve as landmarks, having replacing old ones.

The most conspicuous example is the Apollo Hospitals, located on the Tiruvottiyur High Road as it cuts through Tondiarpet. The tall building of this corporate hospital has become a landmark, nudging another out in the process. Communicable Diseases Hospital (CDH), standing bang opposite the Apollo Hospitals, figure frequently as before. Interestingly, in keeping with the times, CDH has got itself a new building and looks modern.

Residents still don’t notice any dramatic change in the civic situation, but are happy with the new landmarks, which essentially suggest improvements in the housing and health sector. One of the few north Chennai localities to witness development in the area of health, Tondiarpet has a slew of hospitals in both the government and private health sector.

CDH and the Government Peripheral Hospital, Tondiarpet in the government sector and Apollo Hospitals and few other health centres in the private sector enable easy access to healthcare for residents.

The quality of the hospitals in the Government sector has considerably improved. In December 2012, a modern building at CDH was inaugurated. According to residents, this new facility has increased efficiency.

Improvement in health infrastructure and rise in sprawling gated communities might have given Tondiarpet a downtown character, but the neighbourhood still faces acute civic issues.  “Drinking water supply is still poor for several areas in Tondiarpet. We are still facing plenty of difficulties to get regular water supply,” says Gopal, a resident of Tondiarpet.

An auto driver pointed out that traffic congestion continues to haunt Tondiarpet. “The area has developed in a few ways and remains the same in several others. Basic amenities including drinking water supply need to improve,” a shopkeeper on T.H. Road points out.

Lakshmi, another resident, says the condition of the interior roads is pathetic.

Keywords: Tondiarpet

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